Analyst praise for Apple’s iPad thingy

Apple watchers are beginning to articulate opinion. We’ve gathered a few.

We know the iPad costs from $499. An that’s good news: “At that price, they’ll sell millions,” Hakim Kriout of New York-based Grigsby & Associates told Bloomberg News. “It’s very, very affordable for what it does. This is going to add a huge revenue stream for Apple.”

“It’s typical Apple. It’s fast, bigger, cooler. It’s an iPod touch on steroids,” says Jacobs Media GM Paul Jacobs. “It adds size, speed and appears to have great functionality. What’s interesting is it doesn’t appear to be a game changer. The iPhone changed phones and the iPod changed MP3 players. This is carving out its own space between iPhones and computers. I don’t think it will change media as we know it, but it will change media consumption. It elevates the game, yet doesn’t change it.”

“While laptops are focused on productivity, and mobile phones are still primarily about communication, the main focus of media tablets is entertainment,” said ABI Research senior analyst Jeff Orr.

“Content consumed on laptops and smartphones is increasingly based on Internet services. Home networks and mobile broadband data services make viewing possible without wires. These media tablets could not have come to market any sooner than 2010,” he added.

Designed for use in the home or office environment, the Wi-Fi-powered 9.7” touch device ($499-$699) resembles and functions like a large iPod touch. The tablet will utilize existing Apple services available for the smaller Apple media player and iPhone, including the iTunes music and app stores. An additional eBook storefront, called iBooks, is also being added.

Three additional models of the media tablet will include 3G wireless radios ($629-$829) for mobile data access over cellular operators. Initially available in the United States, special pre-paid pricing plans from AT&T Wireless ($15-$30) will be available. International carrier agreements are anticipated mid-year.

“Will media tablets displace dedicated eBook readers before they become a mass market solution? Can the open media tablets announced and commercially available during the first half of 2010 restrict the Apple iPad to the role of a niche player?” ABI Research asks, rhetorically.

Peter Kafka at All Things Digital notes: “Jobs and company clearly plan on incorporating new products from newspapers, magazine publishers, TV networks and Hollywood movie studios as the iPad rolls out. But there wasn’t much talk about any of those media products during the launch event,” he wrote. “The same goes for magazine and newspaper products. As predicted, Apple highlighted an iPad app designed by the New York Times, but there was no mention of how much the thing would cost, or whether the paper would charge anything at all.”

Apple’s stock reached nearly $210 on the Nasdaq Stock Market, before retreating to c. $207. This clarifies that, among investors, at least, iPad seems set to reach consumer hands – despite the name…

Women control over 83 percent of all consumer purchases, including 66 percent of home computers, and they outpace men when it comes to buying consumer electronics, but they hold only 27 percent of computer-related jobs, according to a study by the National Center for Women & Information Technology.

Gail Sideman with PUBLISIDE Personal Publicity in Milwaukee notes a fairly typical female reaction to the name: “I can say from a women’s perspective, today’s announcement of iPad falls into a someone ‘stupid’ name, but I don’t think the moniker will hurt sales of the new device. I think people will continue to make fun of how the name relates to feminine products, but its features and Apple’s reputation for funky, high-performing machines will allow the talk to dissipate.”

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3 thoughts on “Analyst praise for Apple’s iPad thingy

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